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More Than Just a History Lesson

Many of our students do not know life as it was before 9/11. September 11th is a day that they’ve heard about but neither remember nor fully understand. Because 9/11 falls on a Sunday, you will need to plan activities for the Friday before or the week after. There isn’t much time to pull ideas together so here are a few quick suggestions. Continue reading →

Students Lose with SB 5

My name is Sophia Rodriguez, and I am the American dream. The daughter of a migrant worker, my parents came to Mercer County in the ‘50s so they could build a better life for me and my three siblings. I vividly remember that day my mother received her GED—I was in the eighth grade and […] Continue reading →

School Nurse: Safety At Risk

In the 21 years that I have been a school nurse, I’ve seen it all. From treating students with strep throat to comforting children who are coping with mental illness, I have devoted my life to helping kids. That’s why I have very real fears that Issue 2 will put students at risk. We need […] Continue reading →

People Need to Bargain for Fair Wages

Here’s what the SB 5 proponents want the people to ignore. Public workers make a fair wages and have decent benefits because we bargain for them. Too many private workers don’t have the opportunity to bargain. Collective bargaining in the private sector is at historic lows, far lower than other developed countries. As these rights […] Continue reading →

Endangered Reading: Reading for Pleasure

One of the things I will miss most about the summer is the time I have to simply sit and read a good book. Sadly, reading for pleasure is just not what it used to be. Last year, as part of our professional development, the Language Arts Department at my middle school decided to explore new ways to promote and encourage reading for fun. After analyzing the results and researching some ideas, here are some of the strategies we chose and implemented. Continue reading →

Back to School: Be Prepared!

Yes it’s already that time again. Like it or not, school starts in just a few weeks. Don’t beat yourself up for not opening that book bag all summer. If you are like me, you need the first two months of summer to relax and you deserve it! Besides, teachers work best under pressure! Here are some tips to help you prepare yourself, prepare your students, prepare the parents, and prepare for the first day. Continue reading →

Why Teach?

I have been a teacher long enough to remember when the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued 1983’s “A Nation at Risk” report and teachers were informed they were failing their students. For the better part of thirty years, teachers have been prevailed upon to work harder, to get better test results from their students and to restore our country’s health and status by producing shiny widget-like Lake Wobegon students, all college- and career-ready, regardless of the influence of anything outside of our classrooms. Fast-forward to January 2011 when the most vicious attacks on teachers began in earnest in Ohio and in many other states throughout the country. So, why teach? Continue reading →

A Paraeducator’s Perspective: More to Support Professionals Than Meets the Eye

Just like so many other support staff in the field of teaching, librarians are seen as the fringe elements of the profession, not as important as core instructors, and, in most districts, the first to go when funds get tight. Not many people know all that I contribute or how much I am responsible for, but obviously it is far more than just checking books in or out. Continue reading →

Teacher Input in the Governor’s Education Funding Model – Part 2

The final meeting (rescheduled after a prior “scheduling snafu”) to discuss a new school funding formula for Ohio was held to a packed room. Those who didn’t get there early enough had to stand or sit on the floor for the entirety of the 90 minute discussion. After Mattei-Smith finished her explanation of the new funding model’s principles, participants voiced their concerns. But keep in mind, the governor’s intended timeline to implement a new funding model for education in Ohio is unbelievably short. Continue reading →

Teacher Input Limited – Part 1

Whereas Strickland immediately unveiled his education reform principles and gave plenty of notice that he would be holding meetings for several months in order to gather citizen and education stakeholder input, the current governor is taking quite a different tack. Barbara Mattei-Smith, from the governor’s office, quickly arranged for meetings to be held over three weeks in July, giving teachers virtually no advanced notice. Citizens’ feedback was not invited and stakeholders were kept separate from one another. Continue reading →
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